The incidence of bariatric emergencies is currently raising globally. This has introduced unique medical complications and phenomena associated with bariatric size patients and morbid obesity.
These are some of the common bariatric medical emergencies:
1. Inability to aid oneself after a fall. Due to decreased mobility issues related to morbidly obese people, the risk of falling is not only increased, but the potentially much more lethal risk of being unable to ambulate afterwards is possible. In a house with other people this problem is easily rectified; however, if you live alone and are morbidly obese, you may not be able to ambulate (move or get up) once you have fallen over. In serious cases of this, barriatric patients have sometimes spent days laying on the floor before anyone has noticed or they have been able to call for help. If the floor surface is hard, such as tiles, or even wood, this prolonged time spent on the floor may result in pressure area sores, and in serious cases non-traumatic crush syndrome.
2. The risk of pressure area sores is greatly increased due to increased weight and pressure on any one aspect of the body.
3. The risk of hypertension is greatly increased.
4. Left heart failure and cardiomyopathy (increased heart size) are common complications of morbid obesity, due to the fact that the heart has to pump a lot more blood around a much larger area.
5. Type II diabetes is a common side affect or risk factor in bariatric patients because of the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to meet the sugar intake demands.
6. In car accidents or motor vehicle crashes, bariatric patients (morbidly obese) are 8 times as likely to develop a serious injury because of the increased kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy (KE) is basically the amount of energy that is required to move or stop an object from moving and is calculated by the formula KE = Mass x Velocity Squared/ 2 . With bariatric patients, the Mass factor is increased and this results in an increased amount of Kinetic Energy being dispersed during a motor vehical crash and increased risk of damage to vital organs.
7. Increased risk of having a motor vehical crash. Studies have shown that bariatric patients or morbidly obese drivers are more likely to have a motor vehical crash. Although more investigation needs to be identified on this topic, it has been hypothesized that this is because of their inability to easily turn their neck and check for their blind spot.